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Candle in the Night

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Banana Muffins Enjoyed!

Here are the promised pictures of H enjoying her banana muffins.  She loves them!


Time with My Girl: Banana Muffins

I wrote yesterday about how I plan to share ways that I spend time with my girls while still getting things done around the house.  Well, here's the  first answer to that promise.

H loves muffins.  Any flavor.  They could probably have broccoli in them and she would love them.  (I should totally try that!)  I think she likes the shape and the fact that I'll give her the whole thing and let her take bites out of them.  It might also be the fact that I like to put chocolate chips in my muffins, but that's beside the point.  She loves them.  

So a couple days ago, I decided to make muffins with her.  We have baked together before, but it's been in a very controlled environment.  I decided to make this a little more fun for her and try to let us both enjoy it.  The first thing I did was gather all the ingredients.  

This is important to do because you don't want to be walking all over the kitchen while your child is on the counter.  That could turn a fun project into a trip to the emergency room.  

H isn't quite old enough to stand on a chair and frankly, since my only counter space is a corner area, there isn't room for a chair there.  So I let her sit on the counter.  She's really good about sitting still.  

Then we started mixing.  I let her dump in the dry ingredients and mix them with a spoon.  I don't let her mess with the wet ingredients since there is raw egg in there and they're in the blender.  I would prefer she not lose a finger.  So she stirred, and stirred, and stirred.  

She ended up with flour on her toes and flour on the floor and into my mommy brain pops the thoughts, "This isn't going to work.  The mixture is going to be off.  There won't be enough flour.  I'm going to go crazy with all this mess!"  And then, I took a deep breath, laughed, took some pictures, and tried to show H how to keep it in the bowl.  

We had a blast and the muffins ended up delicious.  There was really no need to worry about any of it.  I think that was the important lesson I learned.  I grabbed the Dust Buster and cleaned up the floor and it wasn't a problem anymore.  I think that might be what I am learning through all of this.  Things that stress us out and we see as problems really aren't.  They are things that really can be funny and are there to be enjoyed. So what if there is flour all over the counter, floor, and both H and me. Who cares?  I don't.  And I'm having a great time with my daughter and she's learning and enjoying time with her Mommy.  

She's waking up now, so I've got to go, but I will share pictures later of her enjoying the muffins.  

I'd love to hear your stories of baking with your babies!  I'm sure there are some great ones out there!

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Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Candle in the Night: What does that mean?

I used to think that "her candle goeth not out by night" was a missionary type reference.  She keeps her candle lit even when times are hard and people see her light.  You know, this little light of mine...  Maybe that is partially what this verse refers to.  Or maybe it has to do with her husband and children finding their way home.  Like a lighthouse.

Recently, that verse has a whole new meaning.  My life has changed drastically in the past eight weeks.  People say the first child changes you.  Well, if that's true, the second child rocks your world!  Since M has been born, there have been very few days that I have gone to bed before 11:00.  All evening long, I tend to her, tend to the house, and when she's finally down, I tend to some of my own needs.  I can see this verse now as referring to a busy mother.  Even when she wakes up at night to nurse, my head spins with all the things I need and want to do.

Over the past couple weeks, I have begun to live a little differently.  As moms, we sometimes struggle to balance our lives.  What do I want to do during an average day?  I want to spend time with God.  I want to spend quality time with my children and husband.  I want to spend some time blogging (writing is a great outlet for me).  I want to read.  I want to spend time with friends either in real life or through social networking.  What do I HAVE to do during a day?  I have to spend time with God.  I have to spend quality time with my children and husband.  I have to cook.  I have to clean.  I have to sleep.

For a few weeks, I did only what I HAD to do.  And I totally got lost.  There was no me-time.  And as selfish as it might sound, I think all of us moms can admit that you really do need some time doing what you want to do.  So then I tried leaving out cleaning and sleeping.  That really didn't work either.  So for the past couple weeks, I have tried to find ways to combine quality time with my girls during the day with cooking, cleaning, and other things that need to get done.  I'm going to use this blog to share some of those things with you.

I'm hoping to give other moms some ideas of how to balance life.  Mine doesn't always stay balanced by any means, but it's a little more in balance than it used to be!

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Monday, September 26, 2011

Fun with the Waffle Iron

So yesterday morning, I kept the girls home from church because chicken pox is going around and I really don't want them (especially M) to get it.  So for breakfast, I made a recipe my friend Angela talked about on her Grocery Shrink blog: Blender Waffles.  You have to check this out.  I know some of you probably use various grains other than wheat flour to cook with, and I have on occasion, but I've never ground my own grains thinking I didn't have a grain mill, so it'd be too hard.  In this recipe, you use the blender.  I made waffles yesterday by putting oatmeal and rice in the blender (with other ingredients) and blending for three minutes.  I thought it was really cool!  Check out the original recipe, but then note my changes below.  I can't say that any way you make it, they'd be good, but they were quite delicious the way I made them.  Light, fluffy, and sweet!  Yum!  (Oh, and almost sugar free!)
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***I didn't have buttermilk or plain yogurt, so I used a single serve strawberry yogurt container with enough water added to make it one cup.

***As I said, I used oatmeal and rice.  I didn't have any brown rice, just white, so I used that.

***I didn't have a couple hours or a night to let it sit, so I skipped that part.  I think that left me with the grains being a little crunchy, but it wasn't too bad.  Hardly noticeable when drenched in syrup!  I'm definitely going to try making it up the night before next time.

***I didn't sift in the baking powder, salt and baking soda, just dumped 'em in.  They tasted fine in spite of that.

This recipe made almost five waffles and they were all yummy!!  I also think it would a be neat one to make with kids so they could see how different flours are made.  Fun and delicious!


Wednesday, September 21, 2011

The Joy of A Little Girl

Little H is growing up so fast.  She's such a darling little girl and I just love her dearly.  She makes me smile every day.  And sometimes she even makes me smile when she's not there.  Today, I was putting away some dishes and I opened one of the lower cabinet doors to put away a mixing bowl.  There, laying on the shelf inside was a withered dandelion   Oh, to see the world through the eyes of a little girl!


Tuesday, September 20, 2011

My New Blog

For those of you who follow me here and not on facebook, I just wanted to let you know that I am launching a new blog today.  After much prayer, I'm launching a pro-life blog entitled Rachel's Voice.  Please check it out and pass it along!


Thursday, September 15, 2011

Super Savings Continued...

After my last post, I'll bet you thought those people at the consignment sale were pretty silly, didn't you.'s the rest of the tale.

After H's nap, I loaded the girls back up in the car and drove back across town to the sale.  I put H in the Ergo and M in the stroller and headed in.  All the while I was feeling slightly irritated that I had to do all this because of someone else's mistake.  I was also really hoping I'd get my money back.  You see, the receipt was just printed on regular printer paper and if I really wanted to, I could have fabricated it.  I was afraid they'd say "Too bad, all sales are final," and leave me stuck with a $20 monitor that I only thought was worth $2.

I went right up to the lady at the desk and told her the situation.  I showed her the receipt that said $20 and the monitor that said $20.  Wait.  What?  The monitor said $20???  I honestly did not realize until I was handing the lady at the checkout the monitor that it said $20!  In that moment, I was just sure I was stuck with something I didn't plan on paying that much for!  After all, the signs do say, "All Sales Final."  The lady asked me if I thought it cost $2 and I said I did.  I apologized and before I could say anything more, she said she'd take care of it.  Amazing!  I thanked her over and over and told her I wouldn't spread it around that they'd done a return.  (Don't spread it around, okay???)

So, I guess God wanted to humble me that day.  I was more embarrassed than I have been in a long time and at the same time, I knew someone was showing me mercy for my stupid mistake.  Oh, and I must confess, the fact that I posted this on my blog for all the world to see makes it even more embarrassing.  But like I said, I guess God wanted to give me a good humbling experience.

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Friday, September 9, 2011

Super Savings!

I went to the All About Kids consignment sale and had HUGE success!  I kept finding things that I've been wanting and needing for way less than I expected to pay for them.  When I got to the register, I realized I hadn't kept a running total in my head and therefore had no idea what the cost was going to be.  Well, it was definitely more than I'd planned on spending, but it was totally worth it!  And to prove it to myself, I'm looking up original prices of items and comparing them to what I paid. goes!

Floppy Seat Cart Cover
Amazon Price: $29.95
My Price: $8

Sony Baby Monitor
Amazon Price: $35.95
My Price: $2

Reli On Humidifier
Amazon Price (Not the same one, but close): $29.95
My Price: $4

Little People Farm (H's Christmas Present!)
Amazon Price: $38.88
My Price: $5

Safety First Door Knob Covers
Amazon Price (for 4 pack...mine only has 3): $5.49
My Price: $1

Safety First Wide Grip Latches
Amazon Price: $2.69
My Price: $1

Vtech Learn and Discover Driver (E's Christmas Present!)
Amazon Price: $15.96
My Price: $3

Sassy Stroller Activity Bar (Not exactly like this one, but similar)(M's Christmas Present!)
Amazon Price: $22.84
My Price: $5

Vtech Spin and Learn Top (H's Christmas Present)
Amazon Price: $17.95
My Price: $3

Lamaze Elephant (M's Christmas Present)
Amazon Price: $8
My Price: $1.50

Lamaze Freddie the Firefly
Amazon Price: $12.40
My Price: $1.50

Ideal School Supply Company Abacus (H saw this and started saying, "beads!" So, this is also for H for Christmas.)
Amazon Price: $14.32 (This one is no longer available, but here is one similar.  Learning Resources Ten-Row Abacus)
My Price: $3

Sassy Feeding Bowl Set With Lids and SUCTION BASE!!! (Where have you been all my life???)
Amazon Price: $14.99
My Price: $1.50

Garanimals Wooden Block Set (Not on Amazon) (We already have some of these and H loves them!!  Can't hurt to add more to the stash!)
Price Found Here: $12.18
My Price: $2

Old Navy Hat and Mittens (Similar to the ones pictured)
Old Navy Price: $8
My Price: $3

So after all that, how much exactly did I save?  Well, if I'd bought it all new, I would have had a grand total of 
My actual grand total was should have been $44.50.  
OH NO!!!  I PAID $$65!!!
Coming Soon...the results of me going back to the sale with my receipt and the baby monitor they charged me $20 for (instead of $2).  Please say a prayer that they trust me and I get my money back!!!

Oh, and my advice, always, ALWAYS keep a running total of what you're going to owe.  

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Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Everything to His Glory

I haven't blogged for a while.  Can't imagine why!  My life has suddenly become incredibly busy and I've gone into survival mode.  But I wanted to take a minute today to share a little about the retreat I was at this weekend. Things were going about as well as could be expected with two babies at a retreat.  Saturday evening, the girls were very tired, so I opted out of going to the service and took them to the cabin to go to bed.  The service started at 7:00 and that's normally when H goes to bed anyway.  Brian came and put H down and I took care of M.

After Brian left to go to the service, M started getting fussy.  I had fed her and changed her, but nothing was working.  She's had some very fussy evenings and it's been tough.  I've just been waiting for things to get better.  Like I said, survival mode.  I put M in my Moby Wrap and went outside to walk with her.  H wasn't asleep, so I didn't want to go too far.  I decided to just walk around the circle of cabins right there and pray.  I haven't had a chance to really spend time in prayer like I should.  Or maybe it's that I haven't taken the time.  One way or another, it hasn't been happening.

I began by praying for the other families at the camp.  Then I prayed for my family.  I probably walked for an hour just praying and praying.  It's been a very hard four weeks and I haven't been taking the time with God that I needed to and it was such a blessing to be able to renew that relationship.  I sang some songs that I have always felt bring me closer to God, songs like "Jesus, Name Above All Names", "I Love You Lord", and "Praise You".  It was really a nice time.

As often happens, Satan stepped right in and as M spent an hour that evening crying, Brian and I got frustrated with her and with each other.  But really, it was like two steps forward, one step back because as she finally fell asleep in my arms, I repented once again for backing away from God.  I guess that's really how it is for most of us.  Two steps toward Christ, one step away.  But as long as we continue to move toward Him, it's worth it to go through the trials.

I came home with a renewed desire to be a good wife and mother and to work to build my relationship with God.  My devotion this morning reminded me though that even though there are huge adjustments I'm going through, God is with me.  He never leaves us.  The thought from the devotion that really got me was this.  "Pray that God will help you enjoy each moment of this day, resisting the urge to rush on to the next stage of life."  So that's what I've been praying today.  That even when M is crying and H is refusing to spit out the acorn she has in her mouth (true story), I will enjoy every moment of this part of motherhood.  Because I'll never get this back.  Never again will I have a 16 month old and a 5 week old.  Never again will I have two babies who need me so much.  And remembering that just makes me smile and want to enjoy every moment.

The last thing God has reminded me of today is that all these things I'm doing need to be to His glory.  I heard a song by Steven Curtis Chapman that caught my attention.  I'd heard it before, but it really got me today.  Here is the verse that caught my attention.  The rest of the song is great too, but this one really applies to me.

You're picking up toys on the living room floor for the 15th time today 
Matching up socks and sweeping up lost Cheerios that got away 
You put a baby on your hip and color on your lips and head out the door 
And while I may not know you I bet I know you 
Wonder sometimes does it matter at all 
Well let me remind you it all matters just as long as you 
Do everything you do to the glory of the One who made you 
Cause He made you to do Every little thing that you do to bring a smile to His face 
And tell the story of grace With every move that you make 
And every little thing you do 

Listen to the whole song here.  

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